The Chinese stock market headed south again on Friday, one session after it had ended the three-day slide in which it had fallen more than 50 points or 1.7 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just above the 2,880-point plateau and the losses may accelerate on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets continues to be negative on coronavirus fears, although they're seriously oversold and due for bargain hunting. The European and U.S. markets were down on Friday and now the Asian bourses are tipped to at least open in the red.
The SCI finished sharply lower on Friday following losses from the financial shares and oil and insurance companies.
For the day, the index plunged 111.02 points or 3.71 percent to finish at 2,880.30 after trading between 2,878.54 and 2,948.13. The Shenzhen Composite Index tumbled 93.39 points or 4.93 percent to end at 1,801.75.
Among the actives, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China shed 1.85 percent, while Bank of China and PetroChina both lost 1.93 percent, China Construction Bank sank 2.55 percent, China Merchants Bank retreated 2.90 percent, China Life Insurance plunged 4.69 percent, Ping An Insurance declined 2.59 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) fell 1.29 percent, China Shenhua Energy dropped 2.50 percent, Gemdale jumped 1.56 percent, Poly Developments spiked 2.27 percent and China Vanke eased 0.27 percent.
The lead from Wall Street remains soft as stock opened lower on Friday and remained that way for most of the day, although the major averages finished well off session lows and the NASDAQ actually crept into the green.
The Dow shed 357.28 points or 1.39 percent to end at 25,409.28, while the NASDAQ rose 0.89 points or 0.01 percent to 8,567.37 and the S&P 500 fell 24.56 points or 0.82 percent to 2,954.20.
For the week, stocks turned in their worst performance since the 2008 financial crisis. The Dow plunged 12.4 percent, while the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ plummeted 11.5 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively.
Stocks regained some ground late in the session after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank will "act as appropriate to support the economy" amid the evolving risks posed by the coronavirus outbreak. Escalating concerns about the outbreak continued to weigh on the markets, however, as the disease continues to spread across the globe.
Crude oil prices fell sharply on Friday, extending recent losses on growing concerns about energy demand due to the coronavirus. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down $2.33 or about 5 percent at $44.76 a barrel, the lowest settlement since December 2018.
Closer to home, China is on Monday scheduled to see February data for the Caixin manufacturing PMI later this morning. The index is expected to see a score of 49.4, down from 51.1 in January.